Skip to main content

Ancient Germanic Female Deities

Loki and Idun by John Bauer

Here is a list of ancient Germanic goddess and personifications. There is some overlap with the goddesses of the Norse pantheon, and I've limited it to those names that I think would wear well today on modern babies. Of the following names, only the following were used in 2016. Sol was given to 91 girls, Ran to 5 girls, Saga to 9 girls, and Beyla to 6 girls.

Beyla - as a possible agricultural personification, her name could mean "cow," "bean," or "bee," but she has been associated with bees and mead, so my guess is "bee." However, there's been a proposed connection to the reconstructed Proto-Norse name Baunila, which means "little bean." This is also a Spanish and Italian girls name.

Fulla - possibly means "bountiful." Her other name is Volla, which I think is equally accessible as a name. She is a virgin goddess in Old Norse mythology.

Gersemi - means "treasure." She is daughter of Freyja.

Hariasa - pronounced HAR-ee-ah-sah, this sounds a bit like Harriet. Strictly a Germanic goddess, not much is known about her.

Idunn - from Norse mythology, this is the goddess of apples and youth, wife of the god Bragi. The core idea of her may go back even further in time.

Nanna - quite possibly means both "woman, mother," and "daring one, she who empowers." The most well known fact about Nanna was her deep love for her husband, the god Baldr.

Ran - a personification of the sea, her name is pronounced to rhyme with "con" or the name Han (Solo). Her name means "robber." Her husband is Aegir.

Saga - pronounced the same in English, this name might be the most intuitive for Americans. Her name means "seeress," like an oracle. It was proposed that Saga was another name for the goddess Frigg, Odin's wife, but Saga was seen as a sage and possibly had a great command of poetry.

Sif - Thor's wife. Her name means "affinity, connection by marriage." She was known for her amazing golden hair.

Sigyn - pronounced SIG-in, this was Loki's wife. Her name means "victorious female friend." She may date back to a much older Germanic pagan goddess.

Sol, Sunna - Sunna is pronounced SOON-uh. Meaning "sun," she is the sun personified in Germanic myth. She may date all the way back to the Nordic Bronze Age.

Tamfana - tahm-FAH-nuh, whose name might mean "pine tree." She was probably a moon goddess or mother goddess, and may have originally been linked to older goddesses, maybe even the Punic and Phoenician goddess Tanit.

Zisa - which I recently wrote about here, was likely Ziu/Tyr's wife. She has her own unique Germanic story.


Popular posts from this blog

Witchy Baby Girl Names!

Circe Invidiosa by John William Waterhouse
Have a little girl due in October? Looking to name a character? Here's my [seemingly endless] list of witchy-sounding baby names. Most of them also fit in the "clunky but cool" category, or "vintage." Most plants, trees, herbs, spices, flowers, gems, space and nature names fit the bill, because in stories and current practice these things are useful to witches. I've put any actual witch names from legend, myth, literature, movies, etc in bold and up front. I have not considered the names of actual, living people or their Pagan names, and I've left out any characters that only have a surname, or truly ridiculous given names. In the second half you'll see a list of names that, to my knowledge, have not been used for witch characters. Please know that this is not a complete list. Wikipedia has an almost complete list you can view here.
Tabitha, Samantha, Endora, Clara, Serena (Bewitched)
Katrina(Katrina Crane, …


Alifair Hatfield
The baby name Allifair, alternatively spelled Alifair, Alafair, or Alafare, has a very interesting history. This girl's name suddenly popped into existence in the U.S. around the mid 1800's, with no mention why or how.

Some history buffs may be familiar with the Hatfield-McCoy "New Year's Day" Massacre, in which a long-time hatred between families (including Union vs Confederacy differences) finally escalated into an all-out violent battle. Alifair was the name of Randolph McCoy's daughter, born in 1858, who suffered from Polio as a child but remained productive. During an attack on the McCoy home, Alifair was shot and killed. There was later a legal trial for her murder. Ironically, there was an Alifair Hatfield born in 1873 in Kentucky.

So how did she get her name? There are records of others in 1809, 1815, 1819, 1831, 1870, 1883, 1920 and 1923. 1767 or 1787 seems to be the earliest it was recorded. It could come from Alfher/Alvar/Aelfhere…


Ezra might sound like a female name, but it is actually a Hebrew boy's name meaning "helper." I believe it initially came from the name Azariah. Besides Ezra Pound, the famous poet, and Ezra Jack Keats, the children's lit author, the most well known Ezra is from the 5th century b.c. and wrote the Book of Ezra and two chronicles. He was a Jewish priest, copyist, scholar and historian who began compiling and cataloguing the Old Testament. He led a group of Israelites out of exile in Babylon. A little lesser known are Ezra Cornell and Ezra Taft Benson. I believe it has been getting more recent attention due to the character named Ezra on the TV show "Pretty Little Liars." This character, Ezra Fitz, bears a strong resemblance to Abercrombie & Fitch's Ezra Fitch. There is also the 90's band Better Than Ezra, and you might not remember them until you search for their song "Good" on YouTube.

There were 1,416 baby boys born in 2010 with the nam…